America’s Navy is coming home to Harrisonburg, Va., one of 18 cities in six states selected to host a performance by the United States Navy Band Sea Chanters chorus during its 2014 national tour — one of the Navy’s signature outreach programs.
The United States Navy Band Sea Chanters’ performance is scheduled for Mar. 28, 2014, 7:00 p.m. at Harrisonburg High School, 1001 Garbers Church Rd., Harrisonburg, Va. The Navy Band Sea Chanters is the United States Navy’s official chorus. The ensemble performs a variety of music ranging from traditional choral music, including sea chanteys and patriotic fare, to opera, Broadway, and contemporary music.
One of the U.S. Navy Band’s primary responsibilities involves touring the country. All of the band’s primary performing units embark each year on concert tours throughout specified regions of the country, allowing the band to reach out to audiences in areas of the country that do not have opportunities to see the Navy’s premier musical ensembles on a regular basis. The concerts are family-friendly events, meant to be entertaining to veterans, families, individuals and those interested in joining the Navy.
Capt. Brian O. Walden, the Navy Band’s commanding officer said
America’s Navy has only recently adopted the motto, ‘Being There Matters,’ but it’s been a part of what we do for many years – through music – and therefore Navy bands are integral to our national security … Today, Navy bands are still performing around the world, acting as agents of public diplomacy for the American government, improving relations with our allies and winning the hearts and minds with the universal language of music.
These national tours return following a year in which sequestration and its impact on outreach spending forced several of them to be suspended. Pentagon officials announced a plan Oct. 18 that enables the military services to resume conducting community and public outreach activities in 2014, albeit at a significantly reduced capacity.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in an internal memorandum to service chiefs and other military leaders :
Community and public outreach is a crucial Departmental activity that reinforces trust and confidence in the United States military and in its most important asset – people … These proactive engagements showcase our superior combat power, demonstrate readiness to defend the nation, and help to preserve the all-volunteer force.
The Sea Chanters’ 2014 tour includes 18 performances in Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. They will travel more than 4,300 miles, traveling by bus and truck an average of more than four hours each day.